Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

The pursuit of happiness

Fourth of July, happiness, attention, walking the dog

The dog and I headed out early to catch the coolest part of the day. Eighty degrees at 6 am, when I put on last night's clothes like a fireman hurrying to meet an alarm, it was 88 by the time we returned, a short mile and a half later.

I might have lasted longer, but Idgie was panting so we turned around.

There are few flags out this Fourth of July, perhaps because the parched ground  has turned to concrete. All along the parkway, ground cracked  in places where there are no trees, the grass looks and feels like floor scrubbing brushes.

What is watered thrives, and what isn't, doesn't.

But there was a soft breeze, and under the trees and brush, blackcaps to eat. Without the rains they are tiny, all seed surrounded by concentrated sweetness.

To tell you the truth, I don't have much luck pursuing happiness. But when I let it pursue me, that's another matter.

At 6 am, the bike riders were seizing the day as well. A little slowed, they lost some of their pursuing concentration and chatted with each other. It felt festive and, well, free, the way riding a bike made you feel when  you were a kid and it was the way you could escape, go far, feel the stirring wind on your face, practice feats of stunt excellence, be your own woman or man.

Your idea of happiness may be different from mine. But I have most of what mine takes: family and friends (and a dog) to love, a job that means something and does some good, chances to learn and experience utter concentration in some tasks, and enough personal and other resources to be resilient for awhile when the drought comes, as it surely will.

Today let happiness pursue you. All you have to do is notice what is good around you, and it will sneak up while your attention is there.

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